COURTS OF PARIS, NAPLES, ETC. 157 anywhere, and as to plays and balls, I have not been to a public place for a month, I expected a few days ago that my turn was come, and that I was to be ordered to follow Lord Malmesbury; but things appear to have taken another twist, and I fancy I am to stay. I had a hint given me the other day that I should have something soon to do, more than the administration had first intended. If so, I should rejoice at the opportunity given me of showing that I am capable of managing more important concerns than those I am charged with. I received a letter from La Croix, the ministre des affaires interieures, who, by order of the Directory, wished to see my commission. I called on him with it, at his sumptuous H6tel de Gallifet. He was civil enough in his way, but appeared ignorant of the nature of our commis- sion. (He kept mine.) He was in a long close coat, and wore his hair very long and powdered, without a queue. He is a tall, vulgar man. I also waited upon Merlin de Douay, ministre de la Justice, about Sir Sidney, whom I asked to see, but in vain. This one was nicely powdered and pig-tailed, with spectacles. The Directory have found the means to be re- chosen contrary to law, and to fill up vacancies themselves in the college.